I’m blasting my A/C trying to stop the sweat I can feel forming on my forehead. I've made this journey hundreds of times before, and up until recently I spent most of my time in the back seat focusing on the passing semi’s and asking to stop for overpriced thruway food.
Today was different; I was in alone, which ultimately meant one thing--total control of the radio. Normally I find myself cycling through songs on playlists that I've made 6 months prior, but this time was different. I first plug in my iPod to listen to Crespo’s mixtape The Preacher, an ode to the late and inspiring Bobby Womack. Was this going to be a cliché, forced mixtape over-saturating music sites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp?
Opening to the news of Womack’s passing; the mixtape begins with clashing and chaotic sounds that somehow melodically encompass the feelings behind the death of a legend. Intro is a struggle to find cohesiveness between what was lost with Womack’s death and the promising future of the music he’d influence. The mixtape flows seamlessly between the smooth repetition of melodic remixes and interludes of Womack’s own dialogue.
Crespo masterfully combines the nostalgia of riding in my father's car by the undeveloped waterfront as a child with the feeling of something more modern. Tracks like Darling and Something really represent this idea of complete time travel. The production reminds me that you don’t need an overbearing or reckless mash of sounds to get your point across.
The Preacher keeps all of Womack’s best qualities; his rhythm, smoothness, soul and enhances them; beats that are ambitious in the most nonchalant way, soothing and layered. Kind of like that old uncle who only wears silk shirts and sandals but seems to have a different 20-something girl around his arm every family reunion. You really aren't sure how he gets all the women he does but you never question his advice.
If You Don’t Want My Love is a personal favorite on this mixtape full of gems. It’s a midnight drive through a ghost town with an amazing nightlife. 8 tracks of instrumentals honoring the life and music of Bobby Womack, mixing together the legacy he created and the future he inspired.
Call it a fitting obituary, or sonic work of art. Call it whatever you want, just don’t call it your run-of-the-mill mixtape.
The Preacher by Crespo ft. Bobby Womack is available at crespobeats.com.